12 Parks in Farmington Hills, Michigan

Last Updated on March 6, 2024 by Emily Johnson


Farmington Hills, Michigan is a beautiful suburban city located northwest of Detroit. With a population of over 80,000 residents, Farmington Hills offers an exceptional quality of life with great neighbourhoods, schools, dining and entertainment options.

Park NameFeatures Summary
Burton ParkLarge park with walking trails, playground, basketball court, picnic areas, and open greenspace.
Heritage ParkFeatures a museum, historic farmhouse, wildlife pond, playground, and walking paths.
Drake ParkOffers walking paths, playgrounds, basketball courts, baseball and softball diamonds, picnic shelter.
Gill ParkIncludes a swimming pool, playground, basketball and tennis courts, walking path, grills and picnic area.
Hawk Woods Nature CenterNature center with wildlife gardens, woodland trails, observation deck, and picnic area.
Founders Sports ParkSports-centric park with baseball/softball diamonds, soccer/football fields, playgrounds, and trails.
Rotary ParkRiverside park with walking trails, fishing platform, playground, picnic shelter, and open space.
Power ParkFeatures walking trails, The Archimedes Screw, fishing areas, picnic area, and open greenspace.
Botsford ParkSmall park with playground, basketball court, walking path, and picnic area.
Valley ParkOffers panoramic valley views, walking trails, wooden bridge, and picnic area.
Tapiola ParkCircular-designed park with walking trail, playgrounds, sports courts, picnic shelter, and river access.
Kern ParkLarge park with an interpretive center, walking trails, picnic area, fishing access, and open greenspace.

One of the things that makes Farmington Hills such a desirable place to live is its wealth of public parks and recreational spaces. The city has over 30 different parks, nature preserves and public spaces for residents and visitors to enjoy. From large community parks to quaint neighbourhood pocket parks, Farmington Hills has something for everyone.

In this article, we will highlight 12 of the best and most popular parks found across Farmington Hills. We will give a brief overview of each park, describe its amenities and features, and explain why it is worth visiting.

Whether you are new to the area and looking for great parks to explore or a lifelong resident looking to change up your usual walking route, this article will provide park suggestions for all interests and ability levels.

1.Burton Park

Name and Location: Burton Park is located in the heart of the city, easily accessible from Main Street.

History and Significance: The park was named after the Burton family, who donated the land to the city in the early 1900s. It has been a popular gathering spot for the community ever since, hosting various events and festivals throughout the year.

What to Expect: Burton Park features a large open lawn area perfect for picnics, games, and relaxation. There are also several walking paths, a playground for children, and a small pond with a fountain. The park is beautifully landscaped with mature trees and colorful flower beds.

Visitor Information: The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Parking is available along the street and in a small lot adjacent to the park. Restroom facilities and drinking fountains are located near the playground area.

Burton Park is located on Burton Hollow Road north of 12 Mile Road. It is one of the larger parks in Farmington Hills at just under 40 acres in size. Some of the amenities at Burton Park include:

Walking trails – Nearly 1 mile of paved walking paths wind through the park. The paths are suitable for walking, jogging and biking.

Playground equipment – The playground at Burton Park has multiple play structures for both older and younger children. The vibrant blue and yellow equipment really stands out.

Basketball court – Guests will find one full-size basketball court located near the playground area. The court surface is smoothly paved.

Picnic area & grills – Multiple picnic tables positioned conveniently around the park and near the playgrounds allow for easy family picnicking. Grills are available too.

Open greenspace – Large open grassy areas throughout Burton Park give kids room to throw around a football or frisbee without disturbing other park-goers.

With so much to do, Burton Park tends to get busy on nice weather days. It’s a great spot for an impromptu family picnic after school or on the weekend. The central location also makes it easy to access.

2.Heritage Park

Name and Location: Heritage Park is situated on the outskirts of the city, surrounded by lush forests and rolling hills.

History and Significance: The park was established to preserve the area’s natural beauty and cultural heritage. It features several historic buildings, including a restored 19th-century farmhouse and a one-room schoolhouse, which offer a glimpse into the region’s past.

What to Expect: Heritage Park offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking trails, bike paths, and a scenic overlook with stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The historic buildings are open for tours on weekends, and the park hosts educational programs and events throughout the year.

Visitor Information: The park is open daily from dawn to dusk. Parking is available in a large lot at the entrance to the park. Restroom facilities and picnic areas are located throughout the park, and there is a small visitor center with exhibits on the area’s history and ecology.

Located slightly northeast of downtown Farmington Hills, Heritage Park lives up to its name by providing a look into the city’s history. Some key features of this unique park include:

  • Museum – Inside the historic Warner Mansion visitors will find the Heritage Park Museum. The museum documents early village and family life along with Native American history.
  • Farmhouse – Across from the mansion sits the Livermore House, a historic farmhouse built in the mid-1800s. Both buildings are listed as Michigan Historic Sites.
  • Wildlife pond – A small pond located behind the museum provides a serene setting to observe turtles, frogs and other wildlife.
  • Playground – Next to the pond is a small playground suitable for younger children.
  • Walking paths – Paved pathways surrounding the pond and through gardens behind the mansion allow for peaceful garden strolls.

For those interested in local history or looking for a unique park backdrop for family photos, Heritage Park is a must-see. Admission to the museum and historic homes is free.

3.Drake Park

Name and Location: Drake Park is located along the riverfront, just a short walk from downtown.

History and Significance: The park was named after the Drake family, prominent local businesspeople who were instrumental in the city’s development in the early 20th century. It has been a popular spot for fishing, boating, and other water activities for generations.

What to Expect: Drake Park features a wide promenade along the river, with benches and picnic tables offering views of the water. There is also a boat launch, fishing pier, and a small beach area for swimming. The park hosts several events throughout the year, including a summer concert series and a annual boat parade.

Visitor Information: The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Parking is available in a large lot at the entrance to the park, and there is also street parking nearby. Restroom facilities and a small concession stand are located near the beach area.

Drake Park is a 42 acre park centrally located between Northwestern Highway to the east and Middlebelt Road to the west. Some features of this park include:

Walking path – Nearly one mile of paved trail forms a large loop through the park ideal for walking and jogging.

Playground – Two distinct play areas with standard playground equipment occupy Drake Park. One set is geared for ages 2-5 years and another for ages 5-12 years.

Basketball courts – Guests can utilize the full basketball court located just east of the playgrounds. Bring your own ball.

Baseball & softball diamonds – The park contains one regulation sized baseball diamond complete with dugouts, fence and backstop. An overlayed softball diamond occupies the outfield grass.

Picnic shelter & grills – A large picnic shelter complete with multiple grills and dozens of picnic tables sits adjacent to the ball diamonds. Perfect for team picnics and gatherings.

With amenities for all ages, Drake Park is arguably one of the most well-rounded parks in Farmington Hills. Families with kids, athletes and casual park visitors will all find components to enjoy here.

4.Gill Park

Name and Location: Gill Park is a small neighborhood park located in a residential area on the north side of the city.

History and Significance: The park was named after John Gill, a local resident who donated the land to the city in the 1950s. It has been a popular gathering spot for the neighborhood ever since, with a strong sense of community and a focus on family-friendly activities.

What to Expect: Gill Park features a playground area with swings, slides, and climbing equipment, as well as a small sports field for soccer and other games. There are also several picnic tables and a covered pavilion that can be reserved for private events.

Visitor Information: The park is open daily from dawn to dusk. Street parking is available around the perimeter of the park. Restroom facilities are located in the pavilion.

Nestled between Farmington and Nine Mile roads just west of Farmington Road, Gill Park packs a lot of recreation into its 22 acres. Park highlights include:

Swimming pool – During summer months, visitors can take a swim in the Olympic sized outdoor pool, dive from the diving boards or splash down the pool slides.

Playground – Kids ages 2-12 years will enjoy the sprawling playground located east of the pool complete with several play structures, rock wall, zip lines and more.

Basketball & tennis courts – Guests can play a game of 2-on-2 at the basketball court or grab a partner for a set of tennis on one of six courts.

Walking path – Close to .3 miles of paved trails loop through the park’s periphery and provides plenty of shade from surrounding trees.

Grills & picnic area – Grills and picnic tables positioned around the park make it easy to grill lunch and dinner during your visit.

Between recreational sports, swimming and playgrounds, Gill Park has entertainment covered for all tastes and seasons. Arrive early during peak summer pool season if you hope to snag a prized poolside lounge chair.

5.Hawk Woods Nature Center

Name and Location: Hawk Woods Nature Center is located on the eastern edge of the city, adjacent to a large nature preserve.

History and Significance: The nature center was established in the 1970s to provide environmental education programs for the community and to protect the surrounding ecosystem. It is named after the red-tailed hawks that are commonly seen in the area.

What to Expect: Hawk Woods Nature Center features several miles of hiking trails through diverse habitats, including forests, wetlands, and meadows. There is also a visitor center with exhibits on local wildlife and ecology, as well as a raptor rehabilitation facility where injured birds of prey are treated and released back into the wild.

Visitor Information: The nature center is open daily from 9am to 5pm, with extended hours on weekends. Parking is available in a large lot at the entrance to the center. Restroom facilities and a small gift shop are located in the visitor center. Guided hikes and educational programs are offered throughout the year for a small fee.

For those looking to enjoy the natural splendor of Farmington Hills, Hawk Woods Nature Center is a must-visit park. Distinguishing features include:

Nature center – Inside the center, visitors will learn about local flora, fauna, geology and ecosystems through displays and exhibits. Knowledgeable staff answer questions.

Wildlife gardens – Gardens outside feature native Michigan plants and wildlife habitats perfect for bird and butterfly watching.

Woodland trails – Over 3 miles of rustic trails wind through the park’s dense woods and wetland ecosystem.

Observation deck – Ascend the multilevel observation platform for gorgeous views over the wetlands below.

Picnic area – Picnic tables stationed around the property provide scenic spots for an outdoor woodland lunch.

Whether you come for the nature center exhibits, hiking trails or just to enjoy a peaceful alfresco lunch, Hawk Woods offers a nice nature-filled retreat in the city. Remember to bring closed toe shoes for hitting the unpaved hiking trails.

6.Founders Sports Park

Name and Location: Founders Sports Park is located on the west side of the city, near the airport and several major highways.

History and Significance: The park was established in the 1990s to provide a venue for local sports teams and tournaments. It is named after the city’s founders, who were instrumental in establishing the park and securing funding for its construction.

What to Expect: Founders Sports Park features several large sports fields for soccer, football, and lacrosse, as well as a baseball diamond and a basketball court. There is also a large playground area and a walking path around the perimeter of the park.

Visitor Information: The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Parking is available in a large lot at the entrance to the park. Restroom facilities and a concession stand are located near the sports fields. The park can be reserved for private events and tournaments.

As its name implies, Founders Sports Park is a sports lover’s paradise spanning over 150 acres in western Farmington Hills. Some components you’ll find at the park include:

Baseball & softball diamonds – With 8 baseball diamonds and 6 softball diamonds, athletes have their pick of fields for practice and league play. The prepitched batting cages see plenty of use too.

Soccer & football fields – Nearly one dozen multipurpose fields have the lines painted for both soccer and football. Bring your own gear to join a pick-up game.

Playgrounds – Three separate playground areas are scattered throughout the park for ages 2-5 and 5-12 years.

Concessions – The concessions building located centrally near the baseball diamonds sells typical ball game fare like hot dogs, nachos, pretzels and slushies.

Walking trails – Close to 2 miles of paved trails surround the park’s periphery allowing spectators to walk between adjacent ball diamonds and soccer fields.

Thanks to its sheer size and abundance of ball fields and sports amenities, Founders Park attracts athletes locally and from across the Detroit metro region. Don’t be surprised if you recognize a few future professional sports prospects honing their craft on the fields here.

7.Rotary Park

Name and Location: Rotary Park is located in the center of the city, adjacent to the public library and city hall.

History and Significance: The park was established in the 1920s and named after the local Rotary Club, which was instrumental in funding its construction. It has been a popular gathering spot for the community ever since, hosting events such as outdoor concerts, art fairs, and holiday celebrations.

What to Expect: Rotary Park features a large open lawn area with a bandstand, surrounded by mature trees and flower beds. There are also several benches and picnic tables, as well as a small fountain and a statue honoring local veterans.

Visitor Information: The park is open daily from dawn to dusk. Parking is available on the street and in several nearby public lots. Restroom facilities are located in the adjacent library and city hall buildings.

Situated along the roaring Middle Rouge River, Rotary Park distinguishes itself with its unique riverside location. Park amenities include:

Walking trails – Nearly 2 miles of paved pedestrian paths including the riverfront trail that provides excellent views of the rushing river and valley below.

Fishing platform – Located at the eastern tip of the park, visitors can try their hand at fishing for trout and bass right from the elevated wooden platform.

Playground – Just west of the parking lot sits a small, colorful playground structure perfect for younger kids.

Picnic shelter & tables – The large picnic shelter has over a dozen picnic tables positioned underneath. Bring your own picnic fare and grill on the free-standing grills.

Open space – Gentle hills blanketed in lush grass allow room for throwing frisbees, flying kites or simply enjoying views of the river valley from park benches above.

Calling all anglers and nature lovers – the dynamic setting of Rotary Park along the Middle Rouge River creates an ideal setting for both peaceful relaxation and riverfront adventure.

8.Power Park

Name and Location: Power Park is located on the south side of the city, near the industrial district and the river.

History and Significance: The park was established in the early 2000s on the site of a former power plant. It was designed to showcase sustainable energy technologies and provide a green space in an otherwise heavily developed area.

What to Expect: Power Park features several unique sculptures and installations that highlight renewable energy, including a wind turbine, solar panels, and a hydroelectric generator. There are also several walking paths, a small amphitheater, and a community garden.

Visitor Information: The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Parking is available in a small lot at the entrance to the park and on nearby streets. Restroom facilities and a small visitor center with exhibits on sustainable energy are located near the entrance.

Resting on the banks of the twisting Rouge River, Power Park gets its name from the adjacent hydroelectric power plant. Distinctive park features include:

Walking trails – Over a mile of paved pedestrian paths including the riverwalk trail hugging the river. It leads to great stream-side views and fishing access points.

The Archimedes Screw – Located trailside is this fascinating example of simple machine engineering dating back to ancient Greek times.

Fishing areas – Anglers flock to various segments of the Rouge River that snakes through the park to try catching trout, bass and other freshwater fare. Be sure to obtain a valid Michigan fishing license.

Picnic area – Several picnic tables along the riverwalk trail provide picturesque spots for enjoying a riverside picnic lunch. Grills are available too.

Open greenspace – Gentle, grassy slopes overlooking the river are perfect for flying kites, playing catch or simply admiring the flowing river below.

With ample fishing access and trails following the river’s bends, Power Park appeals most to anglers, walkers and nature lovers willing to trade playgrounds for peacefulness.

9.Botsford Park

Name and Location: Botsford Park is a small neighborhood park located on the east side of the city, near the university campus.

History and Significance: The park was named after the Botsford family, prominent local philanthropists who donated the land to the city in the 1960s. It has been a popular spot for students and families ever since.

What to Expect: Botsford Park features a playground area, a small sports field, and several picnic tables and benches. There is also a community garden and a small stage for outdoor performances.

Visitor Information: The park is open daily from dawn to dusk. Street parking is available around the perimeter of the park. Restroom facilities are located in a small building near the playground.

Wedged among neighborhoods in central Farmington Hills, Botsford Park packs a lot of family recreation into its petite 3.3 acres. Must-see amenities include:

Playground – The focal point of the park is the large, colorful playground structure and swings perfect for most ages. Parents can watch kids play while socializing on nearby benches.

Basketball court – Guests will find one full-size basketball court located just south of the busy playground area to shoot casual hoops. Bring your own basketball.

Walking path – A paved loop trail surrounding the playground and court allows parents to walk laps while supervising young kids at play.

Picnic area – Several picnic tables on the north side of the park set the scene for an enjoyable picnic lunch or snack after work and school.

Although on the smaller side, Botsford Park’s convenient location amidst neighborhoods and range of family-friendly amenities make this a favorite gathering spot for neighbors with young kids and tweens looking to socialize after school.

10.Valley Park

Name and Location: Valley Park is located in a scenic valley on the northern outskirts of the city, surrounded by hills and forests.

History and Significance: The park was established in the 1930s as part of a federal works project during the Great Depression. It has been a popular destination for hiking, picnicking, and other outdoor activities ever since.

What to Expect: Valley Park features several miles of hiking trails through beautiful natural scenery, including waterfalls, rock formations, and diverse plant and animal life. There are also several picnic areas and a large open field for games and sports.

Visitor Information: The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Parking is available in a large lot at the entrance to the park. Restroom facilities and a small visitor center with maps and information are located near the parking area.

Nestled deep in scenic valley terrain below, Valley Park treats guests to some of the most breathtaking vistas in Farmington Hills. Some standout Valley Park features include:

Panoramic valley views – Without question, the main highlight is the awesome overlook of the wooded Middle Rouge River valley complete with sloping ravines and tree-lined river.

Walking trails – Close to a mile of rustic dirt trails loop along the periphery providing hikers varied perspectives overlooking the gorge below.

Wooden bridge – A lengthy footbridge with guardrails crosses over one steep ravine connecting both sides of the park. Enjoy views of the valley floor below through gaps between boards.

Picnic area – Several picnic tables are perfectly positioned to take in the lush valley views making alfresco dining picture-perfect.

Offering a chance to immerse yourself among such wondrous natural scenery without leaving the city, Valley Park is arguably Farmington Hills’ hidden scenic gem. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes if hiking the trails or crossing footbridges.

11.Tapiola Park

Name and Location: Tapiola Park is located on the western edge of the city, adjacent to a large lake and several residential neighborhoods.

History and Significance: The park was named after the Finnish word for “heaven” and was established in the 1950s by local Finnish immigrants. It has been a popular destination for swimming, boating, and other water activities ever since.

What to Expect: Tapiola Park features a large sandy beach along the lakeshore, with a designated swimming area and lifeguards on duty during the summer months. There are also several picnic areas, a playground, and a boat launch for non-motorized watercraft.

Visitor Information: The park is open daily from dawn to dusk. Parking is available in a large lot at the entrance to the park. Restroom facilities and a small concession stand are located near the beach area.

Located along the winding Middle Rouge River, Tapiola Park distinguishes itself with its neat circular design, ample recreation amenities and dynamic riverfront location. Standout features include:

Walking trail – A paved .6 mile looped trail hugs the river offering walkers, joggers and bicyclists access to great river views and fishing areas.

Playgrounds – Two separate playground areas with standard equipment cater to both younger and older kids.

Sports courts – Guests will find two basketball courts, two tennis courts and two street hockey rinks located just north of the playgrounds. Bring your own equipment to join pick-up games.

Picnic shelter & tables – The expansive picnic shelter includes over a dozen picnic tables and complimentary grills for outdoor dining.

River access – Concrete steps descending from the trail to the riverbank provide easy access for fishing or simply enjoying the flowing waters up close.

With its unique circular layout and wealth of amenities encircling the river, Tapiola Park is one of the most visually distinctive and recreationally diverse riverfront parks in the city.

12.Kern Park

Name and Location: Kern Park is a small urban park located in the heart of the city’s downtown district, surrounded by shops, restaurants, and office buildings.

History and Significance: The park was named after the Kern family, prominent local business owners who donated the land to the city in the early 1900s. It has been a popular spot for office workers and downtown residents to relax and enjoy some green space in the midst of the city ever since.

What to Expect: Kern Park features a small lawn area with several benches and tables, surrounded by mature trees and flower beds. There is also a statue of the city’s founder and a small fountain.

Visitor Information: The park is open daily from dawn to dusk. Street parking is available nearby, and the park is easily accessible by public transit. Restroom facilities are located in the adjacent office buildings.

Situated along the banks of the gently flowing Middle Rouge River, Kern Park spans over 60 acres of peaceful woodlands, wetlands and river access. Some defining features include:

Interpretive Center – Inside this historic farmhouse visitors can browse exhibits highlighting the Rouge River Watershed, relict prairies and more.

Walking trails – Over 3 miles of rustic wooded trails loop through the park including a footbridge crossing the river gorge offering gorgeous views.

Picnic area – Several picnic tables conveniently located near parking allow for easy riverside picnicking. Grills are onsite too.

Fishing access – The Middle Rouge River winds languidly through Kern offering trout fishing opportunities for guests with a valid Michigan fishing license.

Open greenspace – Rolling meadows of tallgrass prairie not yet overtaken by forest spread out east of the trails providing space for gardens, games of catch or simply cloud watching from a bench.

For avid hikers, anglers and nature lovers, the dynamic ecosystem, interpretive center and miles of wooded trails make Kern Park a can’t-miss natural area destination. Remember to wear weather appropriate shoes for hitting the trails.

Neighborhood Pocket Parks
Beyond the larger community parks, Farmington Hills offers dozens of smaller neighborhood pocket parks sprinkled throughout that provide additional recreation opportunities close to home. Most include standard amenities like:

  • Playground equipment geared to younger kids
  • 1-2 picnic tables
  • Open grassy areas
  • Half basketball court

Some notable pocket parks to check out include:

  • Willow Creek Park
  • Quaker Valley Park
  • Cass River Park
  • Rippling Lane Park

These petite parks allow local neighborhoods convenient access to amenities allowing kids to meet up for playground sessions, shoot hoops or play informal pick-up games without needing transportation to larger parks across town.

Conclusion

With over 30 amazing parks to explore, residents and visitors alike in Farmington Hills have their pick of outdoor adventures awaiting them in this Detroit suburb. From sports facilities and swimming pools to wooded nature areas and pocket neighbourhood parks, the exceptional parks system has something to match any interest or ability level.

Which park will you explore first on your next trip to Farmington Hills? Let the journey unfold and allow these parks to surprise and inspire you in new ways.

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